High Stile Ridge - Wednesday 9 July 2014
Buttermere - Gatesgarth - Peggy's Bridge - Scarth Gap - Seat - High Crag - High Stile - Red Pike - Starling Dodd - Great Borne - Floutern Cop - Crummock Water - Buttermere
Near the Church in Buttermere (Free) - Grid Ref NY176171
Generally good mountain paths. Exposed ridge walking mostly with some steep ascents and descents. Steep descent from Great Borne to Floutern Cop. The path between Floutern Cop and Scale Force is intermittent and boggy in places.
Gloriously sunny and warm with excellent visibility.
OL4 - The English Lakes (North Western Area)
A long day today over in Buttermere to walk over the High Stile Ridge. This is a walk we have wanted to do for a long time and today gave us perfect conditions in which to do it.
The walk starts just outside Buttermere near the Church. There is a fair bit of free parking here but during popular times it does fill up quickly therefore be early. On a Wednesday in early July around 1000 there were still plenty of places to be had. There was a gentle lead in to the walk as we passed Syke Farm and tried not to succumb to a Cream Tea or an Ice Cream so early in the walk before making our way down to Buttermere's lake shore path. The path meandered its way for the majority of the time next to the water before arriving at the road just before Gatesgarth. A short bit of road walking before we turned right to cross to Peggy's Bridge as the walk started to climb steeply in places to reach Scarth Gap. On this stretch there were fine views to Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike and also looking back over our shoulder down the lake itself.
On reaching Scarth Gap there was a short pull up to the summit of Seat before we made the steep climb up Gamlin End to the summit of High Crag. It is here the full view of the ridge can be seen as it spreads out invitingly before you and Kirk Fell and Pillar rise up to the left. There was a short climb on scree before we reached the summit proper but this was not overly difficult. From High Crag the path made a slight up and down to High Stile and on to Red Pike, the outstanding views continuing throughout. At Red Pike it did start to get busy with people coming up the Bleaberry Tarn path and it was good to see lots of folk out and about enjoying this glorious weather.
From Red Pike we headed over featureless moor to Starling Dodd and we were on our own again and saw nobody for the rest of the walk after leaving Red Pike. From Starling Dodd we made the short climb up to Great Borne and descended to Floutern Cop. The descent is mainly on grass but requires care as it is very steep. The path back to Crummock Water was intermittent and more than once we had to do navigational regains in order to remain on track for the footbridge over Scale Beck.
From Scale Beck there is a delightful path along Crummock Water to Scale Bridge and after the bridge there begins a long walk up a farm track back to Buttermere. We managed to make it back to Syke Farm for a well deserved ice cream before the cafe closed. This was a fantastic day out in excellent conditions and was well worth it for the views alone.
Fudge and Buttermere with Mellbreak in the distance
Walking along the shore of Buttermere with Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks ahead
Buttermere, Haystacks and High Crag - we will be over there soon!
Looking over Buttermere to High Stile with Dodd to the right. Red Pike can just be seen between the two.
The Buttermere Pines and Haystacks
High Crag & High Stile from Gatesgarth
Looking back down to Buttermere from the Scarth Gap path
Fleetwith Pike & Warnscale Bottom
Getting higher up the path, Green Gable, Great Gable and Kirk Fell come into view
Scarth Gap from the ascent up to Seat - either go left to Buttermere, right to Ennerdale or straight up on to Haystacks
Robinson, Hindscarth, Dale Head and Fleetwith Pike from the path to Seat
Looking back to Haystacks, Green Gable and Great Gable
Gamlin End and High Crag come into view
Fudge on Seat with Pillar behind
The path to High Crag and Gamlin End - it looks impossible from here but the path can be seen zig zagging to the left side of the scree
Looking back to Seat from the ascent up Gamlin End
The summit of High Crag looking to Great Gable and The Scafells
The view to our next summit, High Stile
A bit nearer - the path of ascent is to the left
The summit of High Stile
This ridge walk just got better and better - Red Pike, Dodd and Bleaberry Tarn with Crummock Water right
Glorious view down Crummock Water and over to Grasmoor
Not a bad lunch stop - this was the only table left unfortunately!
Bleaberry Tarn and the large bulk of Grasmoor
The summit of Red Pike looking back to High Stile with Pillar to the right
Next stop Starling Dodd, with Ennerdale Water in view. What has Fudge smelt? - the mind boggles.
Looking back to Red Pike
The summit of Starling Dodd with Great Borne ahead
Great views from here back along the ridge
On our way to Great Borne
Me and hairy on the summit of Great Borne
Trig Point on Great Borne
The steep descent from Great Borne down to Floutern Cop
Fudge impatient - again!
Haystacks and the Buttermere Pines in the early evening sun
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